With the entire world struggling to battle against the recent outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the situation seemingly doesn’t have an end date yet. The initial epicenter of the outbreak – Wuhan, China has been a paragon of hope to the entire world. That’s because the situation there has been controlled to the point where the city health officials have declared the risk level of the pandemic from “high” to “medium”. However, it’s still wreaking havoc across other parts of the world. Italy, which has the world’s second-best healthcare system, and the USA – who was deemed the most prepared to deal with a pandemic, are overrun with patients. It’s scary times – not gonna lie.
What would happen to Nepal?
Now let’s imagine what would happen if the virus spread in Nepal at the same rate as in the aforementioned countries. Our healthcare system is nowhere near capable of dealing with an epidemic of such magnitude. That’s just how it is. Lack of adequate healthcare officials, PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) kits, and the overall incompetent infrastructure means COVID-19 would absolutely cripple our country if not contained. So, I hope every single one of us is doing our absolute best in minimizing the spread of the virus.
Social distancing? → Practice it!
Hands? → Frequently wash it!
other preventive measures? → just do it!
Because of what Nepal is working with, it doesn’t take an expert to figure out that there’s a big danger lurking around. With our limited resources, we absolutely CANNOT afford to have our healthcare workers fall in sick, or God forbid, worse. Local manufacturing of masks through the collaborative venture of the Nepal Chamber of Commerce & other prominent industrialists has begun. Also, the National Innovation Center (NIC) led by Mr. Mahabir Pun, received Nepal government’s approval for producing PPEs. However, the harsh reality is that it’s simply not enough. We need more; more PPEs, more masks, more everything!
Jack Ma Foundation, Alibaba Foundation assists!
Well, times like these are when the big corporates should step in and help out in any way they can. And one (or in this case, two) such two philanthropic organizations helping Nepal with medical equipment in the case of the COVID-19 crisis are the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation. Nepal is one of the 23 Asian countries (and other regions) to receive the essential medical supplies by these two foundations.
The total donation includes a total of 7.4 million masks, 485,000 test kits, 100,000 sets of protective clothing, and other assorted medical equipment. And the first batch of the donations arrived at Nepal’s Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) today (29th March 2020), which was received by the Ministry of Health and Population of Nepal.
this delivery to Nepal is a part of the donation of medical supplies to 10 Asian countries including a total of 1.8 million masks, 210,000 testing kits, and 36,000 protective clothing.
Mr. Lino Ahlering (Daraz Nepal, MD) and Ms. Hou Yanqi (Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China for Nepal) were present in the brief ceremony of handing out the contributions to Mr. Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal (Minister for Health and Population, Nepal).
“We hope this donation will help Nepal contain the spread of COVID-19. We are making our best effort to support the global community. It is not easy to source and transport medical supplies to where it is needed the most, but we are working hard to get it done,” said the Jack Ma Foundation.
This is a great deal, really. Not only Nepal, but the Jack Ma Foundation & Alibaba Foundation is also involved in donations of valuable medical resources to other parts of the world too, like Asia, North America, Latin America, Europe, and Africa. Additionally, the two foundations are likely to announce more initiatives and donations in the coming days.
Now, how those resources will be utilized is entirely up to the Nepal government. We hope that it finds the most efficient and effective way to distribute these throughout the country.
Apart from the donations of the physical materials, the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation have also supported the publication of a handbook. It includes key findings from all the healthcare workers associated with the treatment of COVID-19 in China at its peak. You can check it out here.